By now I’m sure many of you heard of or have seen the catch Matt den Dekker made last night, robbing the Nationals’ Anthony Rendon of a Spring Home Run. We ebedded it in the Game Recap, but it’s so good that it is only justifiable to embed it once more, for those that have not seen it or clearly want to watch it again.
We have known for a while now that Matt den Dekker can seriously bring it in center field. As you can see by the jump and read he gets on the ball, the young man has Major League instincts out there. His offense, however, has been a step behind.
The one time he has had a bump-up in production after being promoted mid-year was when he joined Savannah from the Rookie League on the Gulf Coast in 2010. All other times, he takes a 2nd half and an offseason to adjust. If this pattern continues (which it should adding the Las Vegas factor to the mix), den Dekker should begin to figure it out a little more at age 25 and finally make the jump to the Majors at some point this year.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis‘s defense is very much above average but den Dekker is on another level. Though the pattern continuing would mean he would struggle at the Major League level, it’s safe to say that if den Dekker figures out how to hit Major League pitching, he immediately climbs to the top of the Center Field depth chart, considering how his defensive prowess gets better and better the more it is on display.
He added a single to his game last night, starting a 1-out rally that brought the Mets within a run in the Classic of a Spring Loss. With the way he struggled after his promotion to Buffalo, they will most likely send him out to Vegas no matter how out of his mind he might play this Spring. With it being the hitter’s paradise everyone says it is, it will be good for his confidence and his overall progression.
Plus, he can bring back a bunch of home runs for the pitchers we want to progress as well.
If den Dekker gets it together at the plate, thank God we didn’t sign Michael freakin’ Bourn.
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